Dr Jan Fidrmuc, Department of Economics and Finance and Centre for Economic Development and Institutions, Brunel University

Anti-austerity protestors take to the streets in central Athens earlier this year. Getty Images

Anti-austerity protestors take to the streets in central Athens earlier this year. Getty Images

Following the rejection of EU imposed austerity measures by the overwhelming majority of Greek voters, eurozone finance ministers have once again come to Brussels to try and save the single currency in what is being described as a ‘crucial 48 hours’.

Two thirds of the Greek electorate voted for parties opposed to the austerity measures required by the European Commission, ECB and IMF as a precondition of a further bailout; despite the outgoing government pledging to adhere to these measures.

Without compromise either by the Greeks accepting austerity measures or the EU offering concessions on the proposed package, another election is inevitable. In this case the bailout package will be suspended, Greece will default on its debt and an exit from the eurozone may follow. None of this will offer much respite for the struggling Greek economy.

In the past the EU offered concessions to voters having rejected EU treaties, however this time there is little political will, and not only in Germany, to offer sweeteners to the Greeks to help them swallow the bitter pill of fiscal adjustment.

Why then are the Greeks fighting against the support from the EU? And should the rest of the EU let them resist or should they be offered a sweeter deal after all?

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Chen Guangcheng and the rule of law in China

Gideon Rachman is joined by Geoff Dyer, Kathrin Hille and James Kynge to discuss the consequences of the case of Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist who has left the US embassy in Beijing following a deal between the US and China.

North Korea’s missile politics

Governments in Seoul, Tokyo and Washington reacted angrily to the announcement last month of North Korea’s impending rocket launch. But what are they really concerned about? Geoff Dyer, US diplomatic correspondent, and Christian Oliver, Seoul correspondent join Shawn Donnan to discuss Pyongyang’s missile politics.

While Mitt Romney took the day with wins in 6 states, the Santorum and Gingrich victories in the more conservative states solidify the fractious nature of the GOP electorate, says Ed Luce. The only clarity gained from Tuesday contest is that the GOP primary is far from over.

Angelos Tzortzinis/Bloomberg

Welcome back to our continuing coverage of the eurozone crisis. By Esther Bintliff on the world news desk in London, with contributions from FT correspondents around the world. All times GMT.

 

18.45 That’s all from the live blog for tonight, but you can keep up to date with all the latest news and analysis on FT.com. We’ll leave you with a summary of events today:

  • Investors holding 85.8 per cent of Greece’s private debt agreed to participate in the country’s €206bn debt restructuring
  • The Greek cabinet approved the use of collective action clauses (CACs), to force recalcitrant investors who own bonds under Greek law to take part in the swap
  • Once the CACs are activated, participation will rise to 95.7 per cent, the level that Greece’s troika of lenders say is necessary if the country is to cut its debt to 120 per cent of GDP by 2020
  • Eurozone finance ministers held a conference call, in which they agreed to release up to €35.5bn ($47bn) in bailout funds to help fund the debt swap
  • Spanish trade unions voted for industrial action at the end of March
  • And finally, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association began their meeting at 13.00 to discuss whether the debt swap constitutes a credit event, which would trigger credit default swaps. At the time of writing, we still didn’t know the answer.

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Japan one year after the tsunami

One year ago, an earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan’s north-east, causing widespread loss of life and triggering the Fukushima nuclear crisis.  Read more

Joseph Kony in November 2006. AP Photo/Stuart Price

Joseph Kony in November 2006. AP Photo/Stuart Price

By Matthew Green

The first thing I wondered was ‘who irons his shirts?’

When Joseph Kony stepped out of the jungle and into a clearing in eastern Congo, he looked almost debonair in his smartly-pressed white suit. A small army of pint-sized soldiers trailed behind him, hair tousled into dreadlocks, feet flopping in Wellington boots. One or two even cracked a grin, but Kony’s face was stone. An overlord in his forest kingdom, the rebel leader seemed unnerved by the sight of strangers.

That was in 2006. I became one of the few journalists to meet the founder of the Lord’s Resistance Army during one of his sallies from the bush to engage in an ultimately futile dance of peace talks with elders from his native northern Uganda.

Having spent six months tracking him for a book I was writing, I felt a curious pang of nostalgia when I once again saw his face leering out of StopKony2012, the viral video. Read more

What next for Vladimir Putin?

FT editors and correspondents discuss what the future holds for Vladimir Putin and Russia. They also look at how the man has evolved and the legacy he will leave behind. Read more

From the FT’s Brussels Blog:

Over the last 24 hours, a flurry of activity has taken place surrounding Greece’s €200bn debt restructuring, most of it expected but some of it potentially destabilising. Because the moves involve highly technical – but still significant – judgements by occasionally obscure groups, Brussels Blog thought it was time for another guide to what to watch for in the ensuing days.

The most eye-catching announcement was the one made last night by Standard & Poor’s declaring Greece to be in “selective default”. Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, chair of the group of eurozone finance ministers, put out a statement saying the move was “duly anticipated” – and he’s right. S&P signalled this way back in June when the first talk of a Greek restructuring began.

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Outside reaction to the crises in Syria and Iran

Gideon Rachman is joined by FT diplomatic editor James Blitz, commodities editor Javier Blas and US diplomatic correspondent Geoff Dyer to discuss the outside world’s reaction to the crises in Syria and Iran.